The BMW i8 has become a sales hit in the UK. Actually, it’s become more than a hit if you consider reports that it’s already sold out and that there’s already a 10-month waiting list to get your hands on the hybrid sports car . British newspaper Telegraph is reporting that the demand for the i8 has become so incredible that customers are even willing to pay "any price" for the display car in BMW’s i showroom on Park Lane in London.
It’s a dramatic turn of fortune for BMW , which initially expressed fears that the i8 wouldn’t command the same amount of attention as it had hoped. It was a gamble to build it in the very beginning, especially when the German automaker made it clear that the i8 would only feature a rather petite, 1.5-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, combining to produce a total output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
But even the £95,000 ($135,925 here in the U.S. as of 8/12/2014) price tag of the i8 couldn’t dissuade buyers from putting in deposits for the car as early as 2012, even before BMW announced that production for the hybrid would ensue. BMW Park Lane sales manager even told the Telegraph that the i8 has become the "biggest conquest car I’ve known as a BMW salesman."
Something tells me that BMW enjoyed hearing those words. At least more so now that the decision and subsequent risk it took in producing the i8 is turning out to be a stroke of genius at this point.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.
Why It Matters
Every automaker takes some sort of risk when introducing new models. The same held true for BMW when it decided to launch the i8 in 2013. Well, it looks like that roll of the dice came out on the good side with reports of the hybrid sports car’s incredible popularity in the UK.
Unless it’s a mega car along the lines of the Ferrari LaFerrari , it’s rare for a sports car or supercar to have as long a waiting list as the BMW i8 has in the UK. That speaks to the car’s immense popularity and the fact that more and more are embracing hybrid technology in sports cars and supercars alike.
The production-version of the BMW i8 made its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show after a series of concept cars were revealed in the previous years, including one that made a special cameo in Mission Possible: Ghost Protocol.
Hollywood credentials notwithstanding, the i8 has proven to be quite a popular model for customers. Its futuristic design and modern technology are a big reason for that. But so is its hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine that delivers 231 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels with an electric motor that produces 131 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque driving the front ones.
With a combined output of 362 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the i8 goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and sprints to a top speed of 155 mph.
On the U.S. market the i8 is priced from $135,925.